Founder Bak Kut Teh Owner Makes Online Plea to Save Family's 42-year-old Business
"It has been a really good 42 years... but the truth is, we might not make it for the many more 42 years to come."
Second-generation owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh has made an impassioned plea on Instagram to save the family’s 42-year-old business.
The bak kut teh restaurant is known for it’s garlicky, peppery, pork rib broth and its late-night opening hours.
In posts on its social media accounts on Wednesday (July 15), owner Nigel Chua indicated that the popular eatery is facing impending closure “if the situation doesn’t get better in the next two months”.
In a more detailed “letter” on Instagram, Chua, 45, described how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected business across its four outlets in Singapore.
View this post on Instagram
Hi everyone, this is Nigel here. Founder Bak Kut Teh will be shutting down if the situation doesn’t get better in the next 2 months. It has been a really good 42 years… but the truth is, we might not make it for the many more 42 years to come. 我们自1978年创立以来，已有42年历史。目前是创店以来最艰难的时期。过去五个月来，我们的营业额严重下跌超过85%。未来两个月内再不好转，就必须结束营业。我们恳请大家一起来拯救我们的品牌、员工们的生计，以及传承下来的老味道。 In this last attempt to save our brand, we will give over 30% off curated sets for dine-in customers from 17 July to 17 August at selected outlets. This special discount is to thank you for your support during Circuit Breaker (we couldn’t have lasted this long without you) and to encourage you and your family to dine with us. 我们恳切请求大家给予支持，不让42年的努力付诸东流。发起人肉骨茶首次推出折扣超过30%的特备家庭套餐，从7月17日至8月17日，在发起人肉骨茶Hotel Boss, Bugis 和 Downtown East 分店。这项特别促销是为了感激大家在阻断措施期间的支持（如果没有你们的支持，我们无法坚持到现在），希望能鼓励大家再次上门。您的下一餐，对我们很重要。 We sincerely seek your support to not let our 42 years of hard work go in vain. Please save our brand, the jobs of our numerous employees and our heritage. 🙏 It’ll mean a lot to us if you can share this post, we promise to serve you with our very best. In order to keep you safe while practising social distancing measures, please make reservations before visiting us. Hotel Boss outlet: 📞 6816 2582 Bugis outlet: 📞 6255 3889 Downtown East outlet: 📞 6344 2588 Sincerely, Nigel, Second-gen Owner of Founder Bak Kut Teh #savefounderbkt #拯救发起人 @founderbkt
Sales had “dropped tremendously by over 85 per cent” in the last five months, wrote Chua. This is in spite of promotions put out by the restaurant during this period, such as free islandwide delivery.
“Business is bad; really bad. If this continues, Founder Bak Kut Teh will not tide over the pandemic,” he added.
Chua also described how his family was relieved when Singapore moved into phase 2 on June 19 and dining-in was finally allowed.
“My dad was elated, grinning from ear to ear and gleefully headed down to the restaurant in the wee hours to prepare the aromatic bak kut teh broth himself,” wrote Chua.
Dad is 75-year-old Chua Chwee Whatt, whose photos with famous celebrities can be found plastered on the walls of his eateries.
Trying and difficult period
Despite going into phase 2, business did not improve. “Even now, we continue to walk into our empty restaurants with no diners in sight”, Chua stated, describing it as “the most tiring, trying and difficult period” of their 42 years in the business.
“It has been a really good 42 years… but the truth is, we might not make it for the many more 42 years to come,” he wrote.
Chua implored for the support of customers to “save our brand, the jobs of our employees and our heritage”.
F&B businesses in Singapore have been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed. Restaurants such as one-Michelin-starred Vianney Massot, Antoinette, and Imperial Treasure Nanbei have also recently announced their closures.
This article was first published in AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead Image from Instagram/founderbkt.